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Derek Brunson vs Chris Weidman
Derek Brunson finally solidified his place as a top contender in the UFC middleweight division when he knocked out former champion Lyoto Machida. This is without a doubt the biggest victory of his career, as it catapults him into the upper echelon of the weight class. The victory also earned Brunson his first Performance of the Night bonus, which added another $50,000 to his fight winnings.
Coming off back-to-back KOs after dropping a decision to Anderson Silva earlier this year, it would be nice to see Brunson face a fighter that isn’t in the latter end of their career, as his last 3 opponents have been near or older than the age of 40. Coming off a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman would be an excellent matchup for Brunson’s next fight. Coming off his first win since a 3-fight losing streak, Weidman still needs to rack up another win or 2 before being considered for a shot at the title. But a win over Weidman for Brunson could present a #1 contender fight in his next outing.
Colby Covington vs Santiago Ponzinibbio/Mike Perry winner
The UFC welterweight division has a new top contender after Colby Covington defeated Demian Maia in the co-main event at UFC: Sao Paulo. Covington was able to use effective striking for 3 rounds on the former title challenger while also effortlessly stuffing every takedown attempt by Maia. With his current win streak now at 5 fights, Covington has finally broken into the top 10 rankings. Covington is the latest addition to the new wave of contenders in his division, along with the likes of Santiago Ponzinibbio, Mike Perry, Darren Till, and Kamaru Usman.
Despite taking out Maia, whose last fight was for a UFC title, Covington didn’t make the statement he needed to make to boost his status to where he wants to be. Despite breaking into the top 10, Colby has yet to face a real power striker in the UFC. With that in mind, a fight between the winner of the upcoming Mike Perry vs Santiago Ponzinibbio matchup in Winnipeg would be the best option for Colby’s next opponent. Both fighters would provide a tough test for Covington in the striking department, while also having to deal with the high level wrestling that Colby brings into each fight. The winner of either potential matchup for Covington would undoubtedly bring them within 1-2 fights from a title shot.
Matchups for the remaining UFC:Sao Paulo fighters:
-Lyoto Machida vs Vitor Belfort w/loss to Uriah Hall
-Demian Maia vs Tarec Saffiedine
-Pedro Munhoz vs John Dodson/Marlon Moraes winner
-Rob Font vs Brett Johns/Joe Soto loser
-Francisco Trinaldo vs Beneil Dariush
-Jim Miller vs Bobby Green
-Thiago Santos vs Ramazan Emeev
-Jack Hermansson vs Magnus Cedenblad
-John Lineker vs Raphael Assuncao w/Lopez win
-Marlon Vera vs Thomas Almeida
-Vicente Luque vs Thiago Alves
-Niko Price vs Bryan Barbarena
-Antonio Carlos Junior vs Tim Boestch
-Jack Marshman vs Eric Spicely/Gerald Meerschaert loser
-Jared Gordon vs Calvin Kattar
-Hacran Dias vs Godofredo Pepey
-Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs Zak Cummings
-Max Griffin vs Lyman Good
-Deiveson Figueiredo vs Ryan Benoit/Ashkan Moktarian winner
-Jarred Brooks vs Hector Sandoval
-Marcelo Golm vs Jarjis Danho